CC was dominant again on Saturday. Slowly throwing harder as the game went on again and reaching 97 by the end of the game. His curve was as good as it has been all year, but he hasn’t been throwing his change with as good as feel as last year yet. This bodes well for CC as he has been throwing a great fastball for the last few months and has usually had at least one of his other pitches going for him. Rivera closed out the 4-1 victory looking good with excellent movement and velocity. Not sure if the gun was correct, but on his 4 seamer he reached 95 twice. He allowed 2 cheap hits, but that will happen sometimes…he also K’d 2.
Sunday saw Brett Gardner lead off the game with an excellent AB seeing a lot of pitches and then lining a single up the middle. He then followed with his 11th straight SB without being caught (later he would add his 12th in a row giving him 26 SB’s and 10 CS) and scored on a Swisher single. The Yanks kept chipping away and put up 7 runs.
Hughes’ final stats look good, but I didn’t think he looked all that good. His curve was better and had good break, but his fastball was 90-93 and mostly 91-92. His cutter had good break, but he was throwing it at 88-89 and all of that would be OK if he had better command of each of the fastballs but he didn’t. He barely threw his cutter for a strike and while he did get some swings and misses on his fastball, most were on balls. I might have missed one, but I am not sure if I saw a changeup all night and that is odd. Again the numbers looked a lot better than I thought he pitched (bad hitting by Toronto). Also, Hughes seems to be short arming the ball more than in the past…I don’t have any old video of him, but he just seems different. Last note on Phil, I am not throwing the towel in on him by any means, but he will need to keep getting his stuff and control more refined. Hughes went 6 allowing 4 hits and 2 walks while striking out 5.
Wade came on in the 7th and showed an excellent change. He also was not afraid to throw it against a righty. I have said this before and I know the change tends to tail so a righty throwing a change to a lefty is a little more effective that throwing against a righty, but a good pitch that changes speeds and eye levels is a good pitcher regardless of the hand. Wade threw two changeups to a righty in one AB and got two strikes with them.
Granderson got a very big 3-2 2 out hit that scored Nunez from 2nd and Gardner easily all the way from 1st as he was running on the pitch. This hit basically ended the game and brought us to a 7-2 victory.
One odd play happened in this game and they didn’t go back to discuss of replay. A ball was hit up the middle and Cano backhanded it and threw to first base where Posada was playing. Posada had trouble finding the bag and while catching the ball was feeling for the bag with his foot. In doing so, the runner tried to avoid the foot and missed the bag (as did Posada). The umpire correctly didn’t make a call, but Posada correctly just stepped on the bag with the ball in his glove. The ump still didn’t make a call and Jorge stayed on the bag another 2 seconds but no call, so Posada went to tag the runner who had run by 1st base. When Posada went to tag the runner the ump immediately called the runner out. Interestingly Posada actually missed the tag, but that was just absurd. First, this was first base so it was a force out so once Posada stepped on the bag the batter was out??? This isn’t home plate where occasionally the play at the plate sees the runner and catcher each miss the base and the tag respectively. That is terrible umpiring and nobody said anything because the right outcome happened. I have no idea what he was thinking? BTW, the ump was Angel Hernandez who I didn’t like in yesterday’s game.
Boston beat TB 1-0 in 16 innings and has won 12 of their last 14 games. The only thing good is that we play TB tonight at 7 PM on ESPN.